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“Ready for Ageing?” House of Lords Report suggestions for reforming work in later life

by on March 14, 2013

The House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change has today published its Report of the session 2012/13.

Entitled “Ready for Ageing?”, many of its conclusions suggest that as a country the UK is not ready for an ageing population.

A copy of the report can be downloaded from here.

Of particular interest to those working in the area of age and work is the section on Working for Longer (Annex 5) which calls for a number of measures to change attitudes to people working in later life. These include:

  • “Incentives in the tax, benefit and pensions systems for both early and fixed-date retirement should be actively reviewed. It should be beneficial to defer taking state and private pensions.
  • ‘Cliff-edge’ retirement should end: a culture change is needed so that both individuals and employers end the expectation of retirement at an arbitrary age.
  •  Employers need to be much more positive about employing older people.
  • Employers should demonstrate more flexibility towards the employment of older workers, and help them to adapt, re-skill and gradually move to more suitable roles and hours when they want to do so.
  • Since age is no longer a good indicator of need or ability to pay, the Government should review whether age alone is a sensible determinant for tax liability, access to services or benefits.
  • Employers should support those with responsibilities for caring for older people—particularly people in their 50s or 60s who care for elderly parents—to continue part-time or in flexible work.
  • Welfare to work policies should also address the needs of older people.
  • The Government should publicly reject the ‘lump of labour fallacy’ that wrongly argues that more older people in work will disadvantage the young.”
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